How to grow the glorious sweet pea....
Sweet peas have to be one of our all time favourite summer flowers. They remind us of sunny days spent pottering in our Granny's garden. We love them for their heavenly scent, delicate petals, wonderfully bendy stems and the sunset colour palette they grow in.
We planted all sorts of different colours this year and here you can see a sea of sweet pea blooms. We wish you could scratch and sniff your computer screen!
This year we sowed some seeds in November and some in January to see which worked best. You can plant your seeds anytime from October to March.
The trick with sweet peas is to plant them into root trainers or tall pots as they produce tonnes of roots and need as much space for the roots to grow as possible. We plant two seeds per pot. It is also a good idea to soak the seeds 24hrs before you plant them as this softens the seed coating and speeds up the sprouting process.
Once your seedlings have grown 3-4 rows of leaves pinch out the growing tip - you do this by squeezing it off with your fingers. The plant will now measure about 1-2 inches. It's important to do this to stop the plant from becoming leggy and weak.
Once the last frost has been and gone it's time to plant your seedlings out. The great thing about sweet peas is you can plant them into window boxes, pots or flower beds. They like a sunny spot and make sure you water them lots as they are very thirsty.
As soon as your sweet peas start flowering (May-July) you MUST pick and pick. If you don't pick them quickly they will go to seed and stop producing flowers. As long as you do pick them your house will be filled with the sweetest smelling flowers for most of the summer months.
Ellie & Anna x
What to do with sweet peas....
We use sweet peas in all of our arrangements. Short stems are perfect for bridal bouquets and table vases. Long bendy stems are wonderful in large vases, tumbling and trailing out of the side of the vessel.
This year our favourites have been 'juliet' and 'anniversary' for their pale champagne, blush tones.
They are delicate flowers with short lives, lasting about 3 days in a vase. But they are well worth those three precious days! If you want them to last a little longer you can try adding sugar or flower preservatives to the water.